October 14 – Strategy 14 – What’s in your make-up…if you only knew!
Chemicals have played an important role in my life since 1974. That was when my college years began and I chose to major in chemistry. Not only was I spending time in the lab for my own classes, my work study assignment was to serve as a lab assistant in the freshman chemistry lab. Back then, we didn’t know the dangers of organic chemicals like benzene, so sufficient precautions were not used when handling such hazardous substances. Whether or not this would later contribute to my breast cancer diagnosis, I’ll never know. What I do know is that one of the first things I did following my diagnosis was to reduce my exposure to noxious chemicals.
This lifestyle change was not as hard as it seems, there are currently so many eco-friendly cleaning products on the market that switching was quite easy. One example would be my old-fashioned window cleaner created from plain white vinegar and w ater. It works like a charm. I research many natural ways to create my own cleaning products from natural materials.
Personal care products and make-up were another big area of concern. Once I began reading labels, I was shocked to discover products which I had used regularly, contained many dangerous chemicals. It was not just limited to make-up, but included lotions and nail care products. I had always used aluminum-free deodorant, but had no idea how many other products contained harmful substances. I compiled the list below and I now read every label before urchasing new products. I carry a small printed version of this list of harmful chemicals in my purse when I go shopping.
In the beginning, this change was difficult and costly, as it meant disposing of a great deal of the products I had been using. Just because a product displays the breast cancer symbol on its label, don’t assume it’s safe. It’s tragic that there is no policing of pink ribbon products to insure they are free from dangerous chemicals. This is something that needs to be changed in the United States. Many of these chemical additives are already outlawed in Canada and Europe.
The additives to avoid are: parabenes, formaldehyde, toluene, sulfates and phlalates in both beauty products and foods. These chemicals are estrogen producers in your body. I was amazed at how many make-up and lotion products contain these, particularly parabenes and phlalates. I switched most of my cosmetics to Origins Organic make-up and now use Sparituals nail products. Since product formulas are continually changing, just be sure to read all labels before purchasing to insure your product is clean. Other mineral make-up lines are chemical free but contain soy. If you are estrogen positive, you should avoid soy in any form.
What’s upsetting is that companies that use these chemicals in their products and proudly display the pink ribbon mislead people into thinking they are safe because they support breast cancer research. They may indeed contribute an extremely small percentage to research the very disease their ingredients cause. Profiting from disease when you may be produced in Canada and was recently released in the US. It’s called: Pink Ribbons Inc. and exposes the misuse of the Pink Ribbon by companies whose products contain carcinogens and how some “Big Pink” organizations take large percentages of donations for corporate overhead.
Pink Ribbons Inc.
It is available for purchase on
For more information on dangerous chemicals in personal care products please visit:
reminder: go to www.sisters4prevention.com throughout the month of October for a complete list of all tips as we progress. For true prevention…support the Pink Vaccine, the first preventive breast cancer vaccine. For more information visit:
www.thepinkvaccine.com. Get on the train for prevention…join the thousands that are donating to the vaccine fund. We are getting close clinical
trial, you can make a difference!
Watch the Cleveland Clinic’s video explaining the vaccine: